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Champagne is the name of the world’s most famous and celebrated sparkling wine, the appellation under which it is sold, and the French wine region from which it comes. While it has been used to refer to sparkling wines from all over the world – a point of much controversy and legal wrangling in recent decades – Champagne is a legally controlled and restricted name. The town from which Champagne takes its name is only 90 miles north-east of Paris. The cooler climate, combined with the areas limestone soils, give Champagne its freshness, delicacy, and rich complexity. Pinot Noir. Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay are the primary grape varieties used to make Champagne – a recipe which is used for sparkling wines across the world. It is a little-known fact that four other varieties are also permitted for use in Champagne and are still employed today, albeit in tiny quantities - they are Petit Meslier, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Arbane.